Tours › 2008 › Nallo: Day Tours (April) › 26/4

Saturday 26/4

Stage map 26/4

Around Čeakčačohkka

Horizontal distance:24 km
Vertical distance:+360 m, -420 m, +200 m, -140 m
Time:7 h 30 min
Food breaks:1 h 45 min, 45 min
Night accommodation:
Stage classification:Medium
Map point:Tjäktjapasset

I went up close to the ravine in rather a comfortable morning for skiing. The latest winds had fashioned a steep edge upon the top crest, so I covered the last bit up in the ravine, and then aimed straight for the pass. The next ascension was carried out with only one broad diagonal, after which I kept fairly high up the righthand side all the way to the highest point, where I removed the climbing skins. Behind me a low cloud had started creeping up over Siehtagas, and an easterly wind was (as usual) blowing in the pass itself, but in front of me the weather could not have been fairer. The snow was also bordering on the fantastic, and the speed I gained from the first slope down lasted all the way across the little tarn.

I then aimed straight for the low Čeakčačohkka outrunner, going over it at a fairly high place. My newfound visual contact with the vicinity of the Tjäktja Pass was, however, a bit disheartening, for in that direction persistent clouds were covering all summits, but I still held out the hope that they would lift before long. I turned southwards and slowly descended the slope while covering the horizontal distance at reasonable speed, slightly hampered by an oblique headwind. I came onto Kungsleden just below the last little slope up to the pass, and two hours after I started I entered the shelter there to sign the guestbook.

Nallo cottage 1
Stuor Reaiddávággi 1
Peaks 1
Čeakčačohkka 1
Šielmmáčohkka & Nállu 1
Šielmmáčohkka and Nállu
Panorama 1
Mini-panorama of the Šielmmávággi pass
Tracks 1
Fresh tracks
Šielmmáčohkka 1
Nállu 1
Sun over Nállu
Vaktposten 1
Čeakčačohkka 2
Čeakčačohkka part
Stuor Reaiddávággi 2
Deep Stuor Reaiddávággi
Fjelds 1
No clouds in sight
Reaiddáčohkka 1
Some clouds in sight
Šielmmávággi 1
Šielmmávággi from the outrunner
Clouds 1
More clouds in sight
Alisvággi 1
Alisvággi below, Ážik beyond
Tjäktja cottage 1
The Tjäktja cottage with Luoktekriehppi in the background
Sun 1
Beautiful still
Tjäktjapasset 1
The shelter in the Tjäktja Pass
Ážik 1
Ážik to the north
Geargevággi 1
Geargevággi to the southwest

Having entered my humble self into the annals I went down a little ways to obtain the famed view of Čeakčavággi – a view which at the moment was only to be seen halfway, as a far-reaching blanket was hanging over the entire valley, cutting off all peaks well below their, well, peaks. This blanket was not complete, though, for there was a clear pattern of sunlight playing across the valley floor and upon Sealggá, and it shifted even as I watched. I sat down at a reasonably sized stone just where I was and continued watching, hoping for the clouds to break apart.

After some initial promising signs they did the opposite, and also spread a bit towards the north, which coupled with an increasing wind made me get up and make a round. I went up onto the crest directly west of the shelter, from where I observed a single skier on the trail who was just approaching the slope, and then two people with a dogsled a bit further back. I got an entertaining run back down to my "camp" where I sat down again, for now it seemed as though the clouds were in fact slowly lifting. The dogsleds passed me by, and then the other skier veered off the trail and sought me out – and as I had already suspected this skier was none other than Leif, a fellow warden I have a habit of running into. We chatted briefly and then he continued on towards Sälka and Singi; he would probably not visit Nallo this time.

A few rays of the sun were finding their way to the Pass, but over the valley the clouds were in the process of closing the gap that had formed in their midst. I had lunch while keeping an eye on developments, and then I got up to jog on the spot to keep warm while I continued to wait. As no change was in evidence I finally decided that I might just as well get going again, so I returned to the shelter to switch attire (no reason to do that out in the wind when a building for the purpose was nearby) and then started down into Čeakčavággi.

Panorama 2
Mini-panorama over a clouded Čeakčavággi
Tjäktjapasset 2
Clouds approaching the shelter
Tjäktjapasset 3
Clouds having reached the shelter
Čeakčavággi 1
The dogsled people going down into the valley
Čeakčavággi 2
Re-formed cloud cover

At first I went straight down, but then I turned towards one of the "meditation locations" scattered along the trail between Abisko and Nikkaluokta, from where I got a somewhat demanding but also quite fun downhill run back to the trail. The clouds were now dispersing to some degree over Čeakčačohkka, and in front of me things appeared to be looking up as well, but over Sealggá they remained stubbornly in place. I debated with myself whether to follow the trail or to take to the stream, and in the end I chose not to choose and simply continued straight on when the trail turned to the left.

Down there on the valley floor there was virtually no wind, and now the sky ahead was certainly clearing – and Sealggá still showed nothing of itself above "shoulder height". I went over some low hills where I discovered a set of animal tracks possibly belonging to a lynx, and then I came onto the trail again, which was now actually bathed in sunlight. I followed the trail for a bit, but before going over the last low rise before the Sälka cottages I turned again, heading up the slope. Here I found another set of tracks, and after some careful inspection – and the appearance of better prints further ahead – I came to the conclusion that, yes, it must be lynx. I turned into Stuor Reaiddávággi just below the steeper parts of the slope beneath Reaiddánjunni, stopping at another rock after 12:45 for a second break.

Čeakčačohkka 3
Other parts of Čeakčačohkka visible...
Čeakčavággi 3
...but still not much else
Čeakčačohkka 4
More of Čeakčačohkka
Tjäktja Pass 1
The Tjäktja Pass behind
Čeakčavággi 4
Čeakčavággi 5
Sälka cottages 1
...around Sälka

Just as I did so the sun passed into cloud again, for the celestial window was shrinking. Clouds from the south were being fed into Stuor Reaiddávággi, but further up that valley the sky was still an unbroken blue – a shining example of the extreme meteorological compartmentalization that can occur in the fjelds. Over Sealggá the clouds were still very loth to succumb to relocation, but while I was having a bun and some chocolate I caught a glimpse or two of the higher reaches of the massif.

A bit later I heard the sound of an engine, but not one I recognized, and soon the source of the noise appeared in the shape of a small airplane coming up Čeakčavággi – it made a sharp turn above Sälka and headed right for me, passing overhead at what felt like very close range, and then disappeared up Stuor Reaiddávággi. The clouds that were doing a similar thing were growing in size and number, and off to the south where things had looked dark and gloomy all day the ceiling descended even further, even though the visual range in that direction paradoxically seemed to increase at the same time. As for me, I thought it best to get going again before also "my" valley would become too cloudy for comfort.

Sälka cottages 2
Sealggá 1
Stuor Reaiddávággi 3
Airplane 1

I kept well to the western side, and all the time the combination of wind, clouds and sun kept changing. After passing Reaiddáglaciären I "met" a pair going south in the center of the valley, and from their lack of pack and vaguely recognizable clothing I surmised that they must be Rolf and Britt-Marie from Sälka. I passed another high-quality animal track, this time unmistakably that of a (the) wolverine, maintaining my westerly course above Reaiddájávri under noticeably lighter conditions, but (much) more clouds were coming behind. At the northern end of the lake I descended and passed over to the main track, and after rounding 1333 I went down the last slope at speed, reaching Nallo at 15:00.

Čeakčavággi 6
Lower still to the south
Sälka cottages 3
Shadows claiming Sälka
Čeakčavággi 7
More of the south visible
Šielmmáčohkka 2
Šielmmáčohkka in a window
Reaiddánjunni 1
Fjelds 2
Clouds at the foot of the western peaks...
Čeakčahjälmen 1 well as Čeakčahjälmen, ...
Vaktposten 2
Reaiddáčohkka 2
...and Reaiddáčohkka
Fjelds 3
Visibility improving ahead...
Clouds 2
...but quite the opposite behind
Reaiddáčohkka 3
Reaiddáčohkka passage
Clouds 3
More of the nunataq-like sights
Nállu 2
Good ol' Nállu
Bird 1
Diminutive avian

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